The Importance of Being Miranda Neville

I’m always delighted to host the sparkling Miranda Neville in the lair – not only because she’s darn good company and a wonderful guest, but also because it means she’s got another one of her wonderful books for me to read. Even better, today’s book THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED launches a new series based around some art-loving and very scandalous aristocrats.

This story is already creating great buzz around Romancelandia – for example, RT Book Reviews called it “deliciously wicked” and Publishers Weekly chose this book as one of their top 10 romances of the Fall.

Here’s the blurb:

The rules of society don’t apply to Caro and her coterie of bold men and daring women. But when passions flare, even the strongest will surrender to the law of love….


Thomas, Duke of Castleton, has every intention of wedding a prim and proper heiress. That is, until he sets eyes on the heiress’s cousin, easily the least proper woman he’s ever met. His devotion to family duty is no defense against the red-headed vixen whose greatest asset seems to be a talent for trouble…
 


Caroline Townsend has no patience for the oh-so-suitable (and boring) men of the ton. So when the handsome but stuffy duke arrives at her doorstep, she decides to put him to the test. But her scandalous exploits awaken a desire in Thomas he never knew he had.  Suddenly Caro finds herself falling for this most proper duke…while Thomas discovers there’s a great deal of fun in a little bit of wickedness.

You can read an except of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED on Miranda’s website.

Miranda, absolutely lovely to have you back again! You’re a favorite in the lair.

Thanks, Anna. A day with the Bandits is always a highlight of any blog tour.

Congratulations on THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED which is out TODAY!  Can you tell us about this story?

This is the tale of two people who instantly fancy each other like mad but appear to be totally unsuited. Thomas, Duke of Castleton is an aggressively conventional man. He wants to marry an heiress, both because that’s what dukes do (amazingly they aren’t that anxious to wed courtesans and governesses) and because he’s suffering a temporary cash flow problem. His designated heiress is staying in London with her Cousin Caro, a wild widow on the edge of financial ruin. Neither is at all pleased by their mutual attraction. Gradually Thomas learns to loosen up and Caro leans to appreciate a reliable guy. I have to let myself gush a little about Thomas. Against his better judgment he lets Caro lead him into doing all sorts of naughty things–and thoroughly enjoys himself. But he never loses his inner compass and in my humble opinion is just adorable: the kind of guy we should all have as a husband (as well as being incredibly hawt).

What were the inspirations behind this book?

My previous books were set in the late Regency. I wanted to go back to the aftermath of the French Revolution, which had huge repercussions on English life and politics. The transitional period between Georgian and Regency is also a bit socially looser and the ground hasn’t been covered so extensively in historical romance. Also, I love the clothes. The 1790s are about big hair and big hats, giving way to the high-waisted look that came over from France. Caro favors particularly skimpy examples of the new styles. THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED is set in 1800, a date I picked because of a specific historical event that’s coming up in book two of the series.

I notice your latest series, The Wild Quartet, is built around art collectors. I love that theme. Can you tell us a little bit about the forthcoming books?

It’s a bit complicated to explain (evidently I have no understanding of High Concept). Four young men met at Oxford and were thrown out of the university. They went on a tear around England the Continent, gaining bad reputations and worse habits. Caro’s first husband, Robert, was one of the four and the others are the heroes of the next three books. But The Wild Quartet isn’t a happy group-of-friends series. Their relationships are complex and not always cordial and the resolution of their issues is part of the story arc as they grow up and find their heroines.

One of the things that drew the quartet together was an interest in art. The eighteenth century nobility had an unquenchable lust for art and antiquities which spread to the middle classes. All sort of aesthetic theories were bandied about and London was full of artists. Caro keeps a kind of salon for young artists and you can imagine what her stuffy duke thinks of that! Robert gave her a Titian for a wedding present and she has it stashed away to hide it from her creditors. Thomas is more of a horse and dog man when it comes to paintings.

Horse and dog man? Love it! What’s next for The Wild Quartet?

Art will play a part in subsequent books, not so much in the second book of the series, AN IDEAL SCOUNDREL. I won’t say much about it because it’s not quite finished–it’s due in about ten minutes. It features Caro’s heiress cousin Anne and Marcus Lithgow, who shows himself to be a very bad boy in THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED.

Any chance of your art collectors and the bibliophiles from your marvellous Burgundy Club series crossing paths?

Not unless we meet them as children! If I can find a role for him, I may introduce Lord Hugo Hartley, an elderly connoisseur who has appeared in several of my books.

A treat for readers, a delicious novella appeared in October to launch this series. Can you tell us about THE SECOND SEDUCTION OF A LADY?

Set seven years earlier, the novella introduces Caro when she’s falling in love with Robert (who later dies). But the story is about Robert’s guardian Max Quinton and the woman he loved and lost. Eleanor dumped him when she learned he’d taken part in a bet over her with friends, but when they meet again by chance, Max is determined not to let her get away again. This is my first shot at the reunited lovers trope, but it won’t be my last.

I’m intrigued to know whether you see any particular trends in historical romance at the moment (apart from luscious, romantic covers!).

I think it’s a very exciting time to be writing historical romance. Scandalous, sinful, seductive Regency dukes aren’t going away (neither would I wish them to!) but we’re seeing more variety. Although nineteenth-century England and Scotland are still the most popular settings, we’re seeing more characters from different classes and greater scope for quirky stories and characters. While the self-publishing movement hasn’t yet affected historicals as much as it has some other subgenres, I feel a kind of buoyancy and sense of possibility among authors, a willingness to experiment. I’d be very curious to know if other writers agree–and if readers are finding and enjoying new kinds of stories.

I had so much fun researching the art background to this book. Surfing the internet for paintings is my idea of a good time. (Visiting museums with Anna Campbell is even more fun, but darn it she lives too far away!) What kind of art do you enjoy? Do you have favorite artists or art galleries?

Ah, Miranda, I still have fond memories of the guards at the National Gallery of Art wanting to throw us out because we were being too naughty. Too long since we’ve done that!

OK, everyone, Miranda has very kindly offered TWO prizes today (international). Print editions of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED and THE SECOND SEDUCTION OF A LADY. Yum! Get commenting!

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Comments

141 thoughts on “The Importance of Being Miranda Neville

  1. 1

    And breaking news, Miranda has just released a really cute trailer featuring Ernie the Cat’s take on THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lmC2og67myY

  2. 2
    Mariska says:

    Hi Miranda :D

  3. 3

    Oh, dear, looks like I snaffled the rooster. He’s moving from Sydney to the Sunshine Coast for the day. I wonder if he’ll bring Ernie. Now Ernie I’d really like to meet! A most discerning companion!

  4. 4
    Alexis Luck says:

    Hi Miranda and Anna,

    I can’t wait to get into this series. I love both of your books!

  5. 5
    Jane says:

    Happy Release Day to Miranda. I was just at the Metropolitan Museum Art a few weeks ago. I wish I had more time to see all the collections. My favorite artists include Titian, Bernini and Botticelli. I do hope to visit the Louvre, Uffizi and Prado.

    • 5.1

      Hey, Jane, you sound like an art gallery tragic like me (and our esteemed guest today!). Wouldn’t it be fun one day to do a gallery together although I warn you – Miranda is trouble in an art gallery! I am the soul of innocence but she’s seriously naughty!

    • 5.2

      Hi Jane. I’m off to NYC myself next week. The Met is one of my absolutely top favorite museums and I shall definitely to stopping in. There’s also a trip to the Cloisters, the Medieval branch, being bruited.

      • 5.2.1

        Miranda, one day I’d like to be in New York long enough to do the Met systematically. I always get a bit overwhelmed by the size of it when I set foot in it. Love the costume institute!

  6. 6
    catslady says:

    Oh, I saw the trailer and, of course, loved it lol. I also love Miranda’s stories. The last one that I read was Confessions from an Arranged Marriage and I quite enjoyed it!! And such lovely covers too! Oh, and I’m sure the rooster would love playing with Ernie!

    • 6.1

      Catslady, I wouldn’t say this about every beastie, but I think Ernie might actually have the rooster’s number. The rooster is all flash and no cash and Ernie has called him on a few of his claims and he’s retired sulking to the chookhouse. I like that – makes for a quieter life!

    • 6.2

      So glad you Confessions, Catslady. And the covers. I’m particularly happy with the new one – the model is just how I imagine Caro.
      Ernie is a talented beast when he can be persuaded to get off his duff. I hate to think what he that rooster are getting up to.

  7. 7
    Mariska says:

    Congrats on the Release !!

    i’m more into sculpture, it’s so great to see many unique shapes of thing. lol

    and yes, i do love to see paintings too, by Monet especially.

    • 7.1

      Mariska, there’s something so tactile about sculpture, isn’t there? Not that most galleries let you touch it!

      • 7.1.1

        I love sculpture, too, Mariska. Last year I went to Greece and the Museum of Antiquities there, with all the ancient sculpture, immediately became one of my favorite museums ever. And I also adore Monet.

  8. 8
    Linda says:

    Now that is a tantalizing title for a book! Guaranteed to warrant a 2nd (& 3rd) look. Congrats on the release! Off to take my 4th peek at it now :D

  9. 9
    Amy Conley says:

    Hello Miranda (and of course Good Morning to you Anna, with all that sunshine and warm weather you are having down-under.). Miranda, I honestly believe I’ve read every single book you’ve ever written at one point in my life or another. Love them all. I too LOVE art galleries. I am the person who got the ‘F’ in art class for having absolutely zero talent in that area, but I think it’s what’s given me my appriciation for others. I can sit in an art gallery forever. Too bad I live so far away from the really good ones. Best one I’ve been to is the St Louis one. Tried to get everyone into the one in DC and they all refused me. Keep trying to get SOMEONE to go to NYC so I can go there. And if I’m that bad in art museums can you imagine how bad I am in book stores/libraries? EEEKKKKKK

    • 9.1

      Amy, the galleries in Washington are stupendous, especially the NGA. Definitely try and get there! And yes, we are enjoying sunshine down here. What, me? Rub it in? Not much! LOL!

    • 9.2

      Thank you, Amy. I have no talent for art, either. Thankfully it isn’t necessary to appreciate the work of others! Never been to St. Louis. There are too many great cities and great museums to visit. I need to get on my horse.

  10. 10
    Mary Preston says:

    Growing up we always had very English turn of the century prints on the walls in our bedrooms.

    Little girls in long white dresses & boys in sailor suits out in the garden, some with dogs.

    I loved them. They gave me an appreciation of other times & certainly sparked my imagination, because they were so far removed from my life.

    It’s been ages since I visited an art museum.

    • 10.1

      Mary, those prints sound lovely. I had ballet dancers on my wall. They were quite the rage in the early 60s – women in white dresses in things like Swan Lake.

    • 10.2

      How lovely those prints sounds, Mary. Children are so visual – it’s great to give them something beautiful and/or interesting to look at. They’ll remember them forever (as you do – and Anna with her ballet dancers)

  11. 11
    Helen says:

    Hi Miranda and Anna

    Miranda I so love your stories I am looking forward to this one sounds excellent.

    I have not visited very mary art galleries at all maybe I should go and have a look at some of them I am sure I would love some of the paintings from around the Regency period

    Have Fun
    Helen

    • 11.1

      Helen, you’d love the dresses – I certainly do! I love Miranda’s stories too – killed myself laughing at the interactions between Minerva and her hero in Confessions of an Arranged Marriage. They didn’t give each other an inch and they were falling in love all the time in spite of themselves. Love that sort of story.

      • 11.1.1

        Thank you, Helen, and thanks Anna. I’m especially fond of Regency portraits – give us lots of ideas for clothing and hairstyles for our characters.

        • 11.1.1.1

          I think there’s a ‘real’ quality to Regency portraits that we relate to too, Miranda. And when there’s more than one sitter, you get an idea of relationships between them that I love as well.

  12. 12
    Carol Cork says:

    Hi Miranda!

    I loved your trailer for TIOBW and just couldn’t resist Ernie!! I confess I haven’t read any of your books but I’m certainly going to remedy that. I love the idea of pairing a stuffy duke with an outrageous widow; promises lots of sparks!

    I love The National Portrait Gallery in London but a few years ago the Cardiff museum and art gallery had a wonderful exhibition of original Leonardo da Vinci drawings.

    • 12.1

      Carol, you’ll love MIranda’s books. They’ve got a wonderful Regency feel and they’re so witty and fun, with an emotional heart that creeps up on you and bops you on the head (in a good way!). The Queen very kindly sent the Leonardo drawings over to Australia for Expo 88 (which marked our bicentennial). They used to open the gallery early, the demand was so great. The particular Saturday morning I went in, I was there as they opened and I had the place to myself for a couple of hours. Amazing!

      • 12.1.1

        I’m blushing, Anna. How wonderful that the Leonardo drawings got all the way to Oz. One of the great advantages of modern communications and travel!

        • 12.1.1.1

          Miranda, I remember getting up really close – there was one of grasses (sounds banal but it was sublime) that I stared at for ages. And there were pages of basically doodles of him working on women’s hairstyles. Again sounds completely blah but it was exquisite.

    • 12.2

      Hi Carol – it was fun meeting you on Twitter last night and now seeing you here. Enjoyed bonding over Ernie :) I love the National Portrait Gallery. I’m actually English, living in the US, so I get back to London a lot. The NPG is great for both research and fun.

      • 12.2.1
        Carol Cork says:

        Hi Miranda! Great to be your Twitter friend. I’ve met so many great people since I started tweeting. Ernie simply captured my heart because I’m a cat person. Regrettably, living in a 6th floor apartment, we aren’t able to keep a cat. So, with your permission, I’ll share Ernie!

  13. 13
    Lianne says:

    Hi Miranda … your books look great, definitely going to add them to my list of books to look for!

  14. 14
    nursebowen says:

    New to this site..the books look good..definitely adding them to my wish list… : )

    • 14.1

      Thank you, nursebowen. I’m sure you’ll come back often – the Bandits are always a good time

    • 14.2

      Hey, Nursebowen, welcome to the lair! Hope you have fun here. Because you’re new, I’ll subject you to the sales pitch. We have a members only section where you get exclusive content and there are monthly prizes. Well worth joining. Just click on the Members Den button on the top of the blog and it will take you there!

  15. 15
    Dianna aka Hrdwrkdmom says:

    I do love your books Miranda, I just finished The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton last night. My TBR pile is out of control but I will get to them all someday. I just keep adding to the pile and of course the newest series will have to be added immediately. I do love a good series, getting to spend more time with the secondary characters is always a plus for me.

    • 15.1

      I hear you on the TBR, Dianna. Too many books (not really!). I love series, too. So fun to revisit old characters and see new ones develop. Mind you, I like a good standalone, too. So glad you enjoyed Celia.

    • 15.2

      Dianna, I’m making a conscious effort to attack the TBR pile. I’ve discovered some hidden jewels that have been hidden in there, sometimes for years.

  16. 16
    Laurie G says:

    Coincidentally , I’m also reading her book CONFESSIONS FROM AN ARRANGED MARRIAGE Minerva and Blake’s story centering around his life dealing with dyslexia and the lack of knowledge about this problem. I agree with the chemistry between the two even though they are both fighting themselves and the situation that forced them to marry. Blake has had no support from his father , the Duke. Minerva is forced to sit on the sidelines even though she loves all things political. Woman’s roles were so stifling.

    I’m looking forward to reading more of her books.

    • 16.1

      So glad you’re enjoying Confessions, Laurie. It was so interesting to think about dyslexia at a time when there was no concept of the condition and no educational methods to overcome it. Even today, adult illiterates go to extraordinary means to hide their inability to read. While I was finishing that book I saw The King’s Speech and it gave me insight into the plight of a man who was forced, by reason of birth, into a role he was ill-suited to fill.

    • 16.2

      Laurie, my fave of Miranda’s books (much as I’ve loved the others) is The Dangerous Viscount. Grab that one and lock the door – you won’t put it down until you finish. And you get to meet earlier incarnations of Blake and Minerva.

  17. 17
    Maria says:

    My brother’s a painter so I’m going to be biased, his works are my favorite. And I’ve been to one of his exhibits, it was a lot of fun. :D

  18. 18
    Gail Nichols says:

    I like art that has alot of bright colors. But,my favorite art is paintings of the ocean.

    • 18.1

      I’m with you on color, Gail. And the ocean. Are you a fan of Turner, the greatest ocean painter? BTW there’s a reference to Turner, whose career was just beginning, in The Importance of Being Wicked.

      • 18.1.1

        Wow to the Turner reference, Miranda. What a wonderful painter. He depicted the power of the ocean like nobody else I can think of although I love the Winslow Homer sea paintings too.

    • 18.2

      Gail, I love seascapes. I think because I love the ocean. I’ve got four small Scottish seascapes on my wall in my office which I just love. Beautiful colors – all those rich blues and greens.

  19. 19
    Sheila M says:

    My favorite artist is Gauguin- always wanted to go to Tahiti since I was little. When I win the lottery, I will stop by to see you, Anna on my way.

  20. 20
    Connie Fischer says:

    Good morning, Anna and Miranda! I do like a heroine who is a bit feisty and who doesn’t always follow the rules. It’s probably because I’ve always been a bit of a rebel myself and I love it. Life is fun.

    I’m a huge art fan. While living in Paris for a number of years, I had the opportunity to visit many fabulous art museums. Some of my favorite artists are the Impressionists, especially Renoir and Fragonard. The paintings depicted here remind me of the works of Franz Winterhalter. The way he captured the delicate fabrics of the ladies’ clothing and the beautiful complexions of children always leave me sighing.

    “The Importance of Being Wicked” is on my Wish List and I certainly look forward to reading it. Congratulations on your successes and I wish you the best!

    • 20.1

      I’m so jealous that you lived in Paris, Connie. I’ve visited several times but there’s never enough time to see everything. Such fabulous collections! Nice to meet a Winterhalter fan. His gorgeous depictions of gowns are enough to make a Victorian of me. And who couldn’t love Fragonard, the most exquisite of the 18th century French painters? I happen to have a lot line planned involving one of his works…

    • 20.2

      Connie, I adore Winterhalter’s portraits. So beautiful and romantic. The first time I became aware of his work, I was in an Austrian palace and I was blown away by the portrait he did of the beautiful Empress Elizabeth in the mid-19th century (sadly, she was later assassinated). Here’s a link to the painting: http://www.abcgallery.com/W/winterhalter/winterhalter18.html

  21. 21
    Jeanne Adams says:

    hey Anna! Hey Miranda! Miranda, so good to ahve you back in the Lair!

    I’m LOL because Anna and I nearly got thrown out of the National Portrait Gallery in DC. In fact they did ask us to leave, finally, bu that was because it was 1/2 hour past closing and we were still meanering and
    giggling. SNORK!!!

    I love Carravaggio, and Turner’s landscapes and Sargeant’s portraits, and Monet’s lillies. Grins. I’m not much on modern-modern art, but I can name a favorite in most any other time period. Hans Holbein is another fav. :>

    As to museums, I love the Louvre, and the British Museum. The Phillips Gallery in DC, the High Museum in Atlanta.

    Okay, so I’m an art-geek. I’ll stop now.

    Miranda, these books sound like fabulous fun! Thanks for bringing us in on the series!

    • 21.1

      Thrown out for excessive love of art is one thing, Jeanne. I’m afraid our problem at the National Gallery was borderline lewd remarks :) Anna and Pam Palmer took it very well, under the circumstances.

      I totally agree with all your favorites. I’ve never been to Atlanta but assuming I make it to RWA this year, the High Museum will be my first stop. Perhaps we could make a date?

      • 21.1.1

        Miranda, laughing – honestly, if a guy’s not going to fit his codpiece properly, he deserves to be mocked. Even if he’s been dead for 500 years!

    • 21.2

      Jeanne, I love that you’re another art geek. We really must do some more museums in DC. I LOVE that they’re all free and you can dip in and out without feeling you’re wasting your $25 entry fee. I’d love to see the Phillips Collection one day. And we need to get out of the 19th century in the portrait gallery – although it really was good for my knowledge of American history! I hadn’t heard of a lot of the people featured!

  22. 22
    May says:

    Big fan of your work so looking forward to reading it!

    I am not a big art expert but I love the impressionists like everyone else! :)

  23. 23

    Hi Miranda –

    I’m an Oscar Wilde fan myself and would buy your book based on the title alone :-) but that you’re such a fabulous author makes it all worth while.

    My husband and I make it a point to visit the art museum in every city we visit. I love the impressionists and paintings that represent a scene from mythology. While I’m not fond of portraits of stern-faced men, I love the women’s portraits that show all the details of their gorgeous dresses. They always have wistful expressions, like there’s a secret shared between the subject and the artist. I don’t see that in the men’s portraits.

    I’ve never been kicked out of an art museum but it sounds like fun! Count me in.

    • 23.1

      Thanks so much Donna. Oscar rules!

      Interesting point about male portraits. Perhaps because portraits were status symbols and men like to show their game faces to the world.

      I have happily spent hours looking at the details of the clothing in paintings. The ability of the great artists to paint fabric never fails to amaze.

      • 23.1.1

        Donna and Miranda, this will make you smile – having done the National Portrait Gallery in London and in Edinburgh, I can state categorically that Scotsmen are significantly HOTTER! ;-)

    • 23.2

      Donna, I think you’d be just right to join the Miranda Gallery Mayhem. Consider yourself invited! Love your take on portraits. There’s a Leonardo in the National Gallery in Washington where you really feel the sitter and Leonardo shared secrets that nobody else did. It’s haunting.

  24. 24
    Janga says:

    Hi, Miranda! I was hoping Anne’s story would be next, so that news really made me smile. You know I’m a fan, and The Importance of Being Wicked is one more reason I am. I especially loved the humor that Caro and Thomas share in TIOBW. I finally got my review posted today.

    My tastes in art, like my tastes in reading, are fairly eclectic. Particular favorites range from the Imprssionists, especially Mary Cassatt and Berthe Morisot and their paintings of women’s lives, to Marc Chagall to folk artists such as Howard Finster and Mattie Lou O’Kelley. My favorite museums include the National Gallery in D. C., the High Museum in Atlanta, and the Morris in Augusta, Georgia. Our local museum is small, but it’s lovely with an interesting collection of Southern art. It’s also architecturally interesting since it’s housed in a Victorian building that was originally the county jail. :)

    • 24.1

      Thank you Janga. Your reviews are always exceptionally thoughtful and a pleasure to read.

      Great choices of artists. I’m not familiar with O’Kelley so I’ll have to track her down. Your local museum sounds great – I love small collections because I can appreciate the offerings without being overwhelmed by voume. Plus one can get to see lesser known artists whose work would be lost among the big names in the big museums.

      • 24.1.1

        Miranda, I agree with you about smaller collections being lovely to wander through. And sometimes you discover local artists who are great but who for various reasons haven’t been much known beyond their patch.

    • 24.2

      Janga, nice to see you here. I’d never heard of the High Museum but a few people have mentioned it – must check it out!

  25. 25
    Melody May says:

    YAY Miranda! I actually love going to museums. I love seeing what they have. I haven’t been to any art museums, except for one in Lousiana. It was neat to see the different art periods. However, I was more into music than art.

  26. 26
    Maureen says:

    Congratulations on the new book and series Miranda! I love going to museums to look at the art. My favorite are impressionist paintings but I just enjoy looking at all the different exhibits. My family loses patience with me since I take so long to look at everything. My favorite is the Metropolitan Museum in New York.

    • 26.1

      It’s hard to visit museums with companions who lack the same level of enthusiasm. As a child my parents dragged me groaning around the galleries but I ended up appreciating them. I did the same for my daughter. She’s pretty good but perhaps hasn’t quite reached my tolerance yet!

      • 26.1.1

        Miranda, when I go to a new place, I try and factor in a bit of me-time when I can wander around galleries undisturbed by people wanting me to hurry up – except the security guards wanting to clear me away at the end of the day!

    • 26.2

      Maureen, actually I rather like pottering around galleries on my own (or with someone who’s another art geek like Miranda or Jeanne!). Then I don’t feel guilty if I want to look at something for ages or if I want to go back to check out a favorite again. Hate it when I’m with someone impatient in a gallery!

  27. 27
    EC Spurlock says:

    Thanks for visiting, Miranda! As a former artist and accidental art history double major, this new series sounds right up my alley! (I was a classical/Medieval specialist, but Caro sounds like more of a Rubens gal! ;-D )

    I did a research thesis at the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford in college and spent a lot of time at the art museums at Yale growing up, particularly the British Collection; but my all-time favorite is still the Cooper-Hewitt in New York, just for the sheer variety of their collections.

    Really looking forward to reading the Wild Quartet!

    • 27.1

      Aha! A fellow New Englander. The Wadsworth has some terrific paintings and the British Art Center at Yale is high on my list of favorites. Stunning space as well as a lovely collection. Incredible treasures buried in the library. The Cooper Hewitt always has great exhibitions, for example one on the history of tableware.

      How do you end up an accidental double major?

      • 27.1.1

        Miranda, what a silly question. By accident, of course! ;-)

      • 27.1.2
        EC Spurlock says:

        I had a really good professor whom I absolutely adored and took all his classes because I enjoyed them so much and found them so interesting. Then I had to take a couple of other courses to fill in the blanks between the periods he taught. Before I knew it I had enough Art/Cultural History credits to constitute a second major. Looking back I should have tried to get a museum job, but they were few and far between back in the day. I did have an opportunity to go on a dig with a relatively famous archaeologist, but backed out because it was very near a very active war zone at the time. I wish now I had gone anyway.

    • 27.2

      Wow, E.C., these books sound right up your alley/gallery! How lucky you are to have such a lot of great art on your doorstep. Australian collections are very strong in Australian art (d’uh!) and Victorian paintings but for a really great selection of European paintings, you really need to travel.

  28. 28
    Minna says:

    I haven’t been in art museum for a long time. The last time was years ago when I went to see the art of Marc Chagall in Retretti. My tastes in art are pretty eclectic, but I prefer art that actually looks like something.

    Some Finnish art:
    https://www.google.fi/search?q=hugo+simberg+art&hl=fi&tbo=u&qscrl=1&rlz=1T4ADFA_fiFI467FI467&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=lAO1UOzqOoqj4gSZ24GYCA&sqi=2&ved=0CDMQsAQ&biw=1366&bih=589

    https://www.google.fi/search?q=hugo+simberg+art&hl=fi&tbo=u&qscrl=1&rlz=1T4ADFA_fiFI467FI467&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=lAO1UOzqOoqj4gSZ24GYCA&sqi=2&ved=0CDMQsAQ&biw=1366&bih=589#hl=fi&tbo=d&qscrl=1&rlz=1T4ADFA_fiFI467FI467&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=akseli+gallen+kallela&oq=akseli+gallen+kallela&gs_l=img.12…0.0.3.1204.0.0.0.0.0.0.0.0..0.0…0.0…1c.z9ilRMqf_x0&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=517408e1e5de9cae&bpcl=38897761&biw=1366&bih=589

    https://www.google.fi/search?q=hugo+simberg+art&hl=fi&tbo=u&qscrl=1&rlz=1T4ADFA_fiFI467FI467&tbm=isch&source=univ&sa=X&ei=lAO1UOzqOoqj4gSZ24GYCA&sqi=2&ved=0CDMQsAQ&biw=1366&bih=589#hl=fi&tbo=d&qscrl=1&rlz=1T4ADFA_fiFI467FI467&tbm=isch&sa=1&q=magnus+von+wright+ferdinand+von+wright&oq=magnus+von+wright+ferdinand+von+wright&gs_l=img.12…40924.67331.10.69459.35.32.2.1.1.0.977.8170.1j19j3j3j1j1j3.31.0…0.0…1c.1.EUCIszBr8fk&bav=on.2,or.r_gc.r_pw.r_qf.&fp=517408e1e5de9cae&bpcl=38897761&biw=1366&bih=589

  29. 29
    CateS says:

    I enjoyed art galleries with my mom…That was always on her list of places to visit whenever she came to visit. Your book sounds like a lot of fun, as do your ones you have in progress.

  30. 30
    Pat Cochran says:

    Hi, Miranda, Anna, and Ernie!

    Just watched the trailer….that Ernie is a
    caution, isn’t he? My TBR contains a
    Neville or two and I’m looking forward to
    reaching them! I’m having to be cautious,
    not wanting to cause an injury to myself
    or anyone else if the stack tumbles! Will
    say that I do love me a series, I’m looking
    forward to these books!!

    Pat C.

  31. 31
    Cathy P says:

    Hi, Anna and Miranda! I loved your interview! Congrats on your release of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED, Miranda. I am a big fan of yours, and would love to win THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED and THE SECOND SEDUCTION OF A LADY. Both of them sound musty (must read) Thanks for the great giveaway!

  32. 32
    Carla Salerno says:

    Congratulations for the release of THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED.

    What a gorgeous, elegant, neat coverpage! You don’t have to choose excessive images to suggest wickedness. This picture says it all!

  33. 33
    Kim says:

    My local museum has a room full of Renaissance paintings that I enjoy looking at. the colors just pop.

  34. 34
    gamistress66 says:

    I look forward to reading the latest release :) I enjoy the impressionist, such lovely pictures that make you want to step in and be a part of the scene. I’m almost afraid to ask about the gallery guards — I’m sure it’s a hoot of story ;) same on you to tease us so about it ;)

    • 34.1

      Gamistress, I hate to talk out of school. Let’s just say that Miranda was being a bit risque about some men in VERY revealing tights (men in the 15th century could get away with wearing tights). I of course was sweetness and light and kept telling her that we needed to mind our manners and keep our pinkies lifted if we ever drank tea. ;-)

  35. 35
    Louisa says:

    Miranda and Anna ! Two of my FAVORITE authors AND two of my favorite NAUGHTY LADIES!! I SO adored the Burgundy Club series and I can’t wait to start this new one!

    I think the main element I look for in historical romance no matter what the setting in time and place is the romance – the love story that starts in a believable place with two believable characters and takes me on an emotional journey so real I forget the rest of the world for a while.

    My taste in art tends toward older masters. When it comes to more modern artists I tend to have rather eclectic tastes.

    I love Michelangelo, da Vinci, Caravaggio, Rembrandt, Gainsborough, Landseer, Hogarth, Reynolds, Stubbs, Fuseli, Blake, Constable, Turner, Van Gogh, Monet, Manet, Toulouse LaTrec

    I once spent an entire day in the Van Gogh museum in Amsterdam. It was the 200th anniversary of his death and almost all of his paintings had been called home. I’d long admired his work and it was the first time I’d seen any of the originals. There was also an exhibit of letters exchanged between Vincent and his brother – moving and a bit sad.

    I have to admit the first time I saw Rembrandt’s The Night Watch I teared up and stood there gawking like an idiot. It really is an amazing work.

    And I’d visit and art museum with you two anytime!

    • 35.1

      Ooh, Louisa, you’re on for the art gallery excursion! I think we’d have a wonderful time. Love your list of favourites. I remember seeing the Night Watch too and finding it really moving. Do you remember the marriage portrait that I think is called the Jewish Bride? That was the one that really made me want to cry. So moving and beautiful. And you know, the emotion just doesn’t come across in a print.

  36. 36
    Barbara Elness says:

    I loved the trailer featuring Ernie the Cat’s take on THE IMPORTANCE OF BEING WICKED, it was so cute. :D

  37. 37

    Thanks, everyone, for a great day of blogging. Thanks to Miranda for being such a great guest and including Ernie in the gig. Seriously, he’s welcome to stay with me. I’m not so sure about that pesky rooster! Don’t forget to check back for our TWO prize winners!

  38. 38
    Laurie G says:

    I didn’t put in my favorite artists. I do love Monet, Georgia O’Keefe and a local artist, Julia Kelly

  39. 39
    LilMissMolly says:

    I love Dennis Patrick Lewan for current artists and Monet and Degas for the old ones.

  40. 40
    Diane Sallans says:

    I love to go to museums, but I find it best to go on my own so I can spend time where I want to – it’s something I don’t do often enough.